It’s the week before school starts, and I’ve been thinking a lot about routines. I have been thinking that I need to start getting back into the “routine” of school. Part of this routine means I have to start getting up early to exercise. On a school day, I usually get up between 4:00 A.M. and 5:00 A.M. to workout. Depending on the day, I will go for a run, swim, or do CrossFit. The exercise I do dictates what time I get up. I have to be honest and say that since it is summer, and I am on vacation, I have enjoyed sleeping in. Those extra few minutes of precious sleep have been a treat.
In any case, I like working out in the morning because it wakes me up and gets me ready for the day. After a long day of teaching, I come home and get busy being a wife and mother. I am usually too tired to exercise. Once I sit myself down on the couch, I am not motivated to get up again to go to the gym. This is why I exercise in the morning. Today was a CrossFit morning. I got up at 4:15 A.M. to get to the 5:00 class. Now I am ready to start my day.
I have also been thinking about routines of my classroom. It is important that I establish these routines right away with my students. For the last two years I have taught a combination 2/3 grade class. The best part about teaching a combo class is that the veteran students in the class become the models for the new students. They know how to operate in the classroom and it makes my job so much easier. I don’t have that this year. I am fortunate to be able to teach a straight grade level this year. But, that means I do not have my built-in role models in class. I will have a new group of 2nd graders so I will have to show them how to do everything from where to line up after lunch to where to get a new pencil if their pencil breaks. I spend a lot of time going over expectations. It is worth it to spend most of my time going over routines in the first few weeks of school. That way, the students know my expectations.
Of course, I want to establish new routines this year, especially where curriculum is concerned. I have so much new information in my brain that I want to try out with my students. My brain literally feels like it is going to explode with all the new ideas I learned over the summer. I already know how I am going to change up the way I teach reading and writing. Do I know if these things will work? I don’t know yet. But, I am giving myself permission to change whatever doesn’t work. Eventually these new routines will become automatic. When that happens it will probably be time to change them again. But, that’s okay. A change in routine can be a good thing.